Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic withdrawal

OK, I know it's only day four of competition of the Olympics, but it's approximately 2:30 p.m. CDT, and there aren't any Olympic competitions to watch.

I'm going through withdrawals. Oh, I can tell. I reach for the remote and hit the guide button and scan the NBC stations and affiliates we get on Dish Network: NBC, CNBC, USA. And as I scan each program to see what time an Olympic event begins, my body shakes as I realize I need to wait until this evening to watch more. Don't tell me to head over to MSNBC - my favorite channel - who is offering 4 AM to 4 PM coverage because we don't get it with this Dish package. No Oxygen or Telemundo, either. :(

But wait! What's this? Streaming live video on NBCOlympics.com? It might be a temporary solution to quench my need for a fix. I don't want to miss a minute of volleyball, beach volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, trapshooting, equestrian..... Well, you get the picture. I'm hooked. Even men's synchronized diving was fun to watch! Might have to watch a little Olympic badminton later.

I'm hooked. I'm addicted to the adrenaline rush of the athletes performing to the best of their abilities. Heck, I felt the tear trickle down my cheek when the men's swim 4 x 100 relay team beat out those darn Frenchmen who had to shoot off their mouths about "smashing Team U.S.A.". That was one of the best Olympic moments I remember viewing, and truth be told, I think when I was growing up, we watched the coverage with the same intensity.

And no, it's not Olympic envy. I enjoy sports and I like to participate, but would I want to be an Olympic athlete? Sure. Really? No. I'm competitive but I don't envision myself as someone who is competitive to that extreme. Except in speech competition. Is there an Olympic event for entertainment speaking? I might be able to win a gold medal. OK, I could definitely be standing on the podium.

Maybe that's the ticket. Make speech an Olympic-style event. We do that to an extent already, but speech could gain a world-wide audience. I'm sure people would tune in to watch extempers battle it out in the prep room.

But I digress. I will patiently wait until 7:00 to watch these wonderful athletes take the stage and work toward a team gold medal in women's gymnastics. I'll DVR the USA volleyball team if I can't stay awake that late. But since Michael Phelps will be swimming sometime during the 11:35p.m. - 1 a.m. time period, I'm going to have to force myself - not a problem - to stay awake and watch history being made.

And I think that is part of the allure of the games: we can view history and feel a part of it, even if we are separated by continents and oceans. It's like a cooperative venture, and our country's team depends on us to watch and support them. Even if it's from the comfort of our living room or queen-size bed in the dark of night.

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